A Conwy councillor has warned a neighbouring authority not to move its homeless to his county.

Colwyn Bay county councillor, Bob Squire, made the call as Denbighshire looks to move its homeless residents out of Rhyl hotels ahead of the tourist season.

Denbighshire has been criticised for the move with North Wales AM, Llyr Gruffydd, calling it “social cleansing”.

Now cllr Squire has warned Denbighshire that Conwy does not have the capacity to deal with its own homeless as well as extra numbers from outside the county.

He said: “I hope they look after them themselves and re-home them within Denbighshire because if they enable people to go into other authority areas it will give those authorities a big problem. For instance in Colwyn Bay where there is a lot of HMOs (houses of multiple occupation). I am sure they will take advantage of that and Denbighshire knows it but it’s wrong to inflict this on other authorities when we are trying take care of our own people here in Conwy.”

A spokesman for Denbighshire Council responded: “We are reassuring families and individuals they will not be moved until suitable accommodation is found, preferably in their own community wherever possible and if it’s appropriate.

“Denbighshire Homelessness Prevention team’s aim is to support households into suitable permanent accommodation, but it is within an individual’s rights to choose where they reside on a permanent basis.”

In response to the criticism of attempts to move homeless people from Rhyl leading councillors, in a joint statement, have hit back saying they are doing all they can to make the situation better.

Currently the council has 89 households in emergency accommodation, mainly in B&B type facilities in Rhyl.

In addition there are 42 households in temporary accommodation, awaiting a permanent residence.

Cllr Bobby Feeley, the cabinet member for well being, said: “Housing is a priority for the council and we are working hard to ensure everyone is supported to live in homes that meet their needs. The council’s aim is to end homelessness within Denbighshire.  We realise this is an ambitious aim, but one we feel is important.

“Our dedicated homelessness prevention team provides a wide range of support for people who unfortunately find themselves homeless, including working with private and social landlords to ensure properties are available, the prevention of homelessness by working with households to overcome problems and support for people requiring emergency and temporary accommodation.”

Rhyl South East county councillor, Brian Blakeley, the council’s homelessness champion, said: “Hotels are occasionally used by the council to provide short-term emergency accommodation for those in need, but they are not seen as a long-term solution and our aim is to re-house families and individuals in accommodation that meets their needs as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

He added: “As a council, we have a vision for Rhyl that sees a vibrant retail, leisure and tourist industry and want to support local businesses in being part of this.

“It will continue to be necessary to use hotels and B&Bs to enable us to meet our obligations to households who require emergency accommodation, but it is important to ensure we have the balance right to ensure such accommodation is used appropriately and as a short-term measure while households are supported to find permanent housing.”